shia labeouf plagiarismLarry Busacca/Getty Images

UPDATE: In the wake of continuing fallout over his plagiarism scandal (see story below), Shia LaBeouf is reportedly looking to make things right with Daniel Clowes, the graphic novelist whose work he ripped off in his directorial debut short film, "HowardCantour.com."

According to TheWrap, LaBeouf "hopes to work out a deal to give Daniel Clowes proper credit," including altering "HowardCantour"'s film credits to acknowledge the source material, Clowes's 2007 comic "Justin M. Damiano."

"LaBeouf's overture may include a monetary settlement of some kind," TheWrap added, "though how much wasn't immediately clear, as the film wasn't meant to be a profitable enterprise."

Clowes certainly isn't pleased, and neither is his longtime editor, Eric Reynolds, who wrote in an email to BuzzFeed that LaBeouf's Twitter-based apology late Monday night was "a non-apology, absolving himself of the fact that he actively misled, at best, and lied, at worst, about the genesis of the film." Clowes is considering legal action against LaBeouf, Reynolds told BuzzFeed, though it's unclear if he or Clowes were aware of LaBeouf's reported attempts to forge some kind of settlement with the author.

"No one 'assumes' authorship for no reason," Reynolds wrote to BuzzFeed. "He implied authorship in the film credits itself, and has gone even further in interviews. He clearly doesn't get it, and that's disturbing. I'm not sure if it's more disturbing that he plagiarized, or that he could rationalize it enough to think it was OK and that he might actually get away with it. Fame clearly breeds a false sense of security."

So far, LaBeouf has not responded to BuzzFeed's requests for comments on the matter. We'll update this story if more information becomes available.

[via TheWrap, BuzzFeed]

EARLIER:
Shia LaBeouf has a lot of explaining to do today after it was discovered that his directorial debut, a short film that debuted at Cannes in May 2012, was almost entirely plagiarized from a 2007 graphic novel. And he may have plagiarized his apology for that misdeed, too.


BuzzFeed reports that LaBeouf's film, "HowardCantour.com," lifts entire passages of dialogue and duplicates multiple scenes from Daniel Clowes's comic "Justin M. Damiano," about an online film critic. The striking similarities were not discovered until LaBeouf posted "HowardCantour.com" online on Monday, and someone forwarded Clowes the link; the clip has since been password protected.

Clowes told BuzzFeed that LaBeouf had never once spoken to him or reached out to him about his work.

"I was shocked, to say the least, when I saw that he took the script and even many of the visuals from a very personal story I did six or seven years ago and passed it off as his own work," Clowes said. "I actually can't imagine what was going through his mind."

In previous interviews about the film, LaBeouf indicated the idea was entirely his own, telling website Short of the Week that he wanted to "come to terms with my feelings about critics" after falling victim to negative reviews.

"As I tried to empathize with the sort of man who might earn a living taking potshots at me and the people I've worked with, a small script developed," LaBeouf said at the time.

But by Monday night, the actor knew he was caught, and posted a series of messages on Twitter apologizing for ripping off Clowes.

"Copying isn't particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else's idea to produce something new and different IS creative work," LaBeouf wrote in one tweet.

In an unfortunate twist, BuzzFeed points out that those remarks bear a striking similarity to comments about plagiarism posted on Yahoo! Answers a few years ago. Did LaBeouf seriously plagiarize his apology for plagiarism? It certainly seems so.

The rest of his comments appear to be genuine, though -- and his own. LaBeouf went on to say that it was indeed Clowes's "Justin M. Damiano" that inspired him, and he was "embarrassed" by his faux pas.

"In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation," LaBeouf wrote. " ... I was truly moved by his piece of work & I knew that it would make a poignant & relevant short. I apologize to all who assumed I wrote it."

He apologized directly to Clowes, and added one final comment on the subject: "I f--ked up."

Indeed.

[via BuzzFeed]
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